What are a landlord’s legal obligations?

lease agreement

In order to provide a framework for the interactions, rights, and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants, landlord-tenant laws were developed. According to common law, landlords are required to ensure the security of rented properties and their contents. It is crucial that the landlord’s negligence does not directly result in harm or damage being done to the tenants, neighbours, or the general public.

In addition to common law, there are laws that are special to rental properties. These laws are the responsibility of the landlord and must be strictly adhered to.

Among the duties of the landlord are:

  • Keeping the home’s exterior and structure in good condition.
  • Ensuring that all “installations,” such as gas, electricity, and heating, are functional
  • Installation, upkeep, and appliance safety. Please be aware: it solely relates to appliances owned by the landlord.
  • Treat problems that could be harmful to your health, like growing damp.
  • Repairs to the building’s interior and exterior, heating and hot water systems, basins, sinks, baths, and other sanitary ware, and anything else specified in the leasing agreement.
  • The safety of electrical and gas appliances
  • The tenancy provided furniture and furnishings’ for fire safety.
  • Ensuring that the house is fit for habitation by maintaining and repairing the water and room heating systems
  • The communal parts in multi-occupancy dwellings

The right to enter the rental property for repairs and inspection belongs to the landlord.

What are a landlord’s legal requirements?

You must adhere to the following if you rent, sell, or manage the rental property:

  • the Disability Discrimination Order (NI) 2006
  • the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976
  • The Race Relations (NI) Order of 1977

According to landlord-tenant law, a landlord’s obligations can be divided into five categories:

  • Security Deposit
  • Disclosure of Owner
  • Delivering Possession of the Unit
  • Maintenance
  • Liability

Managing Security Deposits or Prepaid Rent is Crucial

Every landlord’s first duty is to handle a tenant’s security deposit. Even though the security deposit never technically belongs to the landlord, every landlord is allowed to charge it to their tenants. Instead, this security deposit serves as insurance for the landlord in case the tenant doesn’t pay the rent, harms the property, or otherwise violates the terms of the lease. The state and local legislation governing the security deposit must be adhered to by landlords.

Responsibility to Disclose Owner

The renters’ right to know specific facts about the property’s owner is every landlord’s second duty. Whether it is the owner of the building, the landlord, or another person working on the landlord’s behalf, whoever signs the lease agreement with the renter is responsible for this.

Responsibility for Delivering Possession of the Unit 

Delivering possession of the unit to the tenant is the landlord’s third duty under the landlord-tenant law. This means that the apartment must be available for the renter to move into on the move-in date indicated in the lease agreement. The tenant may be entitled to take legal action against the landlord for breach of the lease agreement if the apartment is not available for the tenant by the scheduled move-in date.

Responsibility for Maintaining the Unit 

The upkeep of the property is the landlord’s duty to the renters. This includes maintaining the home’s cleanliness, safety, and habitability. The tenant’s landlord is responsible for following all construction regulations, making all required repairs, maintaining the common areas, keeping all essential utilities, including heat, plumbing, and electricity, in working condition, providing suitable garbage cans, and providing running water.

Limitation of Liability Applies to Certain Obligations

Landlords are responsible for abiding by the rules outlined in landlord-tenant law. The landlord’s responsibilities in the UK include abiding by the conditions of the lease.

When a landlord sells the property and notifies the renter in writing that it is now under new ownership or management, they are usually released from this obligation. The new owner is then responsible for upholding the terms of the lease and abiding by the state’s landlord-tenant laws.

Tenancy deposit

During the 28 days of the tenancy beginning, the landlord must provide the tenant with a rent book and a summary of the terms. In a tenancy deposit arrangement, they are also in charge of safeguarding the tenant’s deposit.

What obligations does a tenant have?

A tenant is responsible for:

  • paying the rent;
  • Paying the gas, electric, and telephone bills if the landlord agreed;
  • maintaining the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness and decoration;
  • And make sure that neither you nor any members of your household or guests harass or bother the occupants of any adjacent or neighbouring premises.
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